element Ewing: Green Hospitality, Franchise Law in Trenton, New Jersey

Starwood’s element hotel brand is coming to Mercer County, New Jersey, and raises some interesting green legal questions in the context of franchising arrangements.

Starwood recently announced plans to develop one of its element brand hotels in Ewing, New Jersey. The element Ewing will be located just outside Trenton in Mercer County and feature 123 guest rooms with a modern design aesthetic. The project plans to seek an unspecified level of LEED certification pursuant. LEED-standard features in each element hotel include Energy Star-rated appliances and lighting, water-efficient fixtures, low-VOC and recycled-content materials, and priority parking for hybrid vehicles. The element Ewing will offer guests 2900 square feet of meeting space and rooms with modular furniture and a full kitchen.

Each hotel that opens under Starwood’s element brand is required to pursue LEED certification, which raises some interesting issues with respect to franchise law. Many hotels are independently owned and operated pursuant to a franchise agreement; the element Ewing will be developed by American Properties Realty Inc. and managed by Hersha Hospitality Management. What’s important to consider is whether there are any provisions in the controlling agreement with respect to LEED certification, or what recourse, if any, Starwood may have if the hotel ultimately fails to reach the required level of LEED certification.

The element Ewing is scheduled to open up next November; Starwood is also planning an element hotel for Times Square that would open sometime in 2010.

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One Response to element Ewing: Green Hospitality, Franchise Law in Trenton, New Jersey

  1. Edward Acker, AIA, LEED AP Tuesday, October 28, 2008 at 1:52 pm #

    Dear Mr. Del Percio,
    In my first job in architecture upon graduating from The Cooper Union in 1965 in the office of William Lescaze, I worked on the design for One New York Plaza at South Ferry. That building if I recall is 52 stories and has a reinforced concrete core. With at least 12 foot floor heights, that would make it 624 feet tall, or certainly taller than SJP’s 11 Times Square. Another innovative design feature (in a severe 1960′s drought) was the ability to take in make up water from the East River for its air conditioning cooling towers through an intake tunnel running under the East River Drive. It was built by Diesel for Sol Atlas, the developer.
    Ed Acker